Rest Assured, We All Want the Same Thing
Recently a concerned parishioner emailed the Diocese wanting us to loosen up our seating arrangements in church. Currently the capacity of our venues is not determined by the capacity of the space but rather how many people we can fit into the church, chapel and Visitation Hall while still social distancing. That means people who don’t live in the same household should not be closer than 6 feet to each other. With these current guidelines we are usually able to fit 220 people (max) into our church. This will make this year’s celebration of Confirmation particularly very challenging. We will have to expand our seating to around 250 with extra chairs and by using a few of the blocked off pews. We have 65 being confirmed and so we are only able to accommodate two guests and the child’s sponsor at the ceremony. Regretfully that leaves out many of our Confirmandis’ extended families. Please understand that no slight is intended; we are simply following Diocesan guidelines. There is no one who wants all of this to end as soon as possible more than me. However, I have anointed too many very sick people suffering from Covid-19 to take it lightly or put anyone at risk. Thank you for understanding.
Last Thursday, the Parish Finance Council met to review the finances for the parish, St. Anne-Pacelli Catholic School and St. Anne Community Outreach. As I type this the following issues were planned for the agenda:
- Review reports for each of the three ministries - parish, school and Outreach, their profit and loss statements, and their balance sheets
- Discuss where we stand on the Early Learning Center project and when we hope to get started and how we will fund it
- Introduce the new members of our school’s finance team to the Finance Council and get to know them a little more
- Begin to formulate a parish budget for the next fiscal year which starts on July 1st and is due to the Diocese at the end of April
I will provide you with the minutes of the meeting next week.
Parish Council Meeting
There will be a Zoom Parish Council Meeting this Tuesday. The agenda will include:
- A report on the current state of the parish, our school and Outreach
- Input from the Council on how they think things are going
- Begin to formulate a plan for the phased-in reopening of the parish ministries and facilities, always remaining faithful to both state and Diocesan policies
- Brainstorm on how to reach our parishioners who no longer practice their faith and invite them back
- Update to be given on the Early Learning Center and how we hope to move forward
- Time at the end of the meeting for any Parish Council member to express any concerns or compliments to the parish staff
I will send a Google Meet invitation to our Parish Council for this meeting. Please make sure to log in to the meeting while logged into the mail account used for the invite.
What Are You Afraid Of?
Last Sunday the readings really struck a chord with me. They often do. Once they were convinced that Jesus did indeed rise from the dead, the post resurrection disciples were able to live their lives without fear or much apprehension. Many even faced their own death and the deaths of their loved ones with the conviction that death really had no more power over them. As I mentioned in my homily we are also post resurrection disciples. Whenever anger, anxiety or sickness comes our way we need to ask ourselves, “What am I afraid of?” Or better yet, “How can I be afraid? How can I be afraid if I understand that all I see and touch in this world is passing away and my real home is to be in heaven with God forever. How can I be afraid if I am really loved by God?”
The next time someone who we find challenging comes our way, let’s simply ask ourselves, “What am I afraid of?” The next time things don’t go the way we would like let’s ask ourselves, “What are we afraid of?” On my table, next to my prayer chair, I have a little crumpled up prayer card with a quote from St. Teresa of Avila. The quote goes like this: “Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten you, all things are passing. God is unchanging. Patience gains all; nothing is lacking to those who have God. God alone is sufficient.” Now all I have to do when I see 27 new emails in a morning or four new voicemails is remember that I am a post resurrection disciple. I am so happy to see so many of you returning to church. I love being with you, being with your families and praying with you. I hope it shows!